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Peralta Trail #102
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mini location map2020-06-28
24 by photographer avatarrayhuston
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Peralta Trail #102Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 28 2020
rayhuston
Hiking10.13 Miles 2,544 AEG
Hiking10.13 Miles   4 Hrs   56 Mns   2.20 mph
2,544 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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I intended this as a workout hike up to the saddle but brought 3.5 quarts of fluids in case I had the energy and stomach for viewing the fire damage beyond the saddle. Turns out I did.

5:37am start with a few vehicles already in the lot today. I stopped at the saddle for a short break to have breakfast and to replenish fluids, then ventured down into East Boulder Canyon to get a close up of the fire damage. After Bluff Springs on Friday, I thought I was better prepared for what I was about to see. Or maybe not. Most of the canyon was crisped from the saddle down to Piper Spring. Side to side, too, as the fire raged right up the canyon walls.

I hiked until I couldn't see any fire damage ahead of me. That turned out to be just north of Piper Spring. Fire retardant was visible on the trail and to the hillside west of the trail. One campsite near Piper Spring looked to be the only one along the trail spared by fire. I stopped nearby for a short break, finishing the rest of breakfast and replenishing fluids before heading back to the saddle.

I stopped at the saddle for another short break. I still felt good, had plenty of fluids left, so I decided to go out to the lone Pinon Pine for a look. I hadn't been over 10 miles on a hike in 15 months. This might do it. I peaked down into Barks Canyon along the way. It too looks like it was crisped up a bit. I confirmed that at the trailhead when I finished as I stopped and talked to a nice couple after the hike. They hiked the Upper Barks Canyon route. Their legs and clothes were stained with soot, just like mine.

The overlook was crowded so I just stopped for a look and left. The hot shots must have wanted to spare the little tree. It looked like someone did some back burns to protect it. There was evidence of fire right up to the tree and all around. If that's what they did, thank you. That little tree represents hope.

I hiked back with a young man named Trey. We ran into each other after leaving the overlook. I decided to go down the Cave trail a bit, then take a shortcut back to the Peralta trail. I pointed out the way back to the saddle as we approached the junction, then told him what I was going to do so he wouldn't follow me. He looked like he wanted to come with me, so I brought him along.

Turns out Trey was in China working as an interpreter when the virus hit. He fled like the rest, ending up in Laos until he could get a flight back to the States. His story was quite interesting as we hiked down the mountain. His parents live in Apache Junction. This was his first trip up to the saddle since he was "a kid."

Today's hike was far more enjoyable than I expected. I'm saddened by the fire damage but hopefully it'll come back better for future hikers. The weather was about perfect for June. Sunny and warm, with a nice breeze throughout the hike. I drank all but 1/3 of a quart of the 3.5 quarts of fluids I brought with me. Great day to be out.
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